The 240-acre Portuguese Bend Landslide is part of a larger complex of ancient landslides on the south side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It was reactivated in 1956 by Los Angeles County’s planned extension of Crenshaw Boulevard and has been moving ever since, becoming one of the largest continuously active landslides in the U.S. and moving homes by hundreds of feet over the years.
The land moves because of the dynamics of surface water percolating into the ground and water trapped deep underground, sliding as much as 8.5 feet per year. The City spends approximately $1 million annually resurfacing a portion of Palos Verdes Drive South that is continuously shifting and cracking due to the landslide. The Abalone Cove Landslide Abatement District’s operation of dewatering wells in the Portuguese Bend Community Association over the past two decades has essentially managed land movement in this neighborhood until recently.
In 2017, the City restarted efforts to explore options for long-term stabilization, forming a City Council Subcommittee to begin a collaborative effort with the community, holding public workshops and hiring a consultant to conduct a feasibility study. The City Council approved a project concept based on the feasibility study in 2019.